Senior Beer at the Senior Bar

Isabel Wesman

Senior year senior beer! Or not, depending on where you were standing at Molly Maguire’s in Phoenixville this past Halloween. A new tradition of a series of off-campus senior-only outings (first introduced by Kate Hunt of the student government of ‘22), this year’s Halloweekend bar went extremely well in terms of a great turnout and a good time, but unfortunately was still missing a few things: reasonable ticket prices and, in some cases, the drinks themselves. But still, two full bus loads of students showed up, indicating great prospects, if not anything else, for future senior events throughout the rest of this academic year.

Kicking off the start of this series of outings, it was clear that the organizers, this year’s student government, had a vision: senior unity, fun drinks, and continuing last year’s legacy. Their only problem? Never having planned such a large-scale event for their peers before. Ursinus did not sponsor the event, so the student government was left to their own devices, and had to coordinate all logistics from scratch. This entailed choosing the location, talking with the owner, calculating ticket pricing for the students, coordinating transportation for everyone, etc. Their efforts were successful in the sense that so much of the class showed out, but the event did not go without some criticism.

Claire Hynes ‘23 noted to me, “at least in the beginning it was more hectic than I’d expected, with everyone trying to get drinks. It was really crowded and only two bartenders were working. It was really fun being able to talk to people that maybe you don’t see all the time, but my only complaint was that the tab ran out ten to twenty minutes after [we got there], so some people only got one or two drinks.” No one person can really be held at fault for these issues, but they were widely recognized among the students who went out that night. Last year’s senior class paid $5 for entrance into the Trappe Tavern to get free drinks (with required tips) whereas this year’s senior class paid six times more to get an average of two to three drinks. And that only happened if a) they were lucky enough to push through to the front and then possibly be waited on, or b) they were insistent enough to pay for their own tab after the group one ran out. So, at face value one can see why students may have been frustrated at this outcome. But luckily for student government this was really the only major issue, and it can be easily changed for the future–changes may just mean switching back to the Trappe, or even simply coming up with a different type of deal in coordination with the bar owners. Claire also pointed out that different systems could be used to ensure that everyone gets what they are promised on the flyers: “maybe if there was a ticket system where people were given a certain number of tickets to give to the bartender in exchange for drinks that could be easier for everyone.” It’s certainly an idea that would help maintain consistency.

Overall there is definitely something special and full-circle about going out as a senior class, and even with a few hitches in logistics the night still proved to be a good one. I also reached out to alum Kate Hunt who told me about the past events and offered advice to her student government successors: “It definitely took a lot of work and I had to establish a strong relationship with the Trappe [in order to pull off the senior bars]. The only advice I have is just go for it–if you don’t ask you’ll never know. I never thought the Trappe would offer us free drinks and I never asked–I just called and [the owner] basically just wanted to help in any way he could.” And with so much time left in the school year, things are essentially bound to improve. The class of ‘22 witnessed at least four senior bars: their Halloween event, an ugly sweater party, a 100-days countdown to graduation, and 10 days until graduation which also happened to be Cinco de Mayo. Hopefully, this sense of unity and school spirit will be kept up through similar events this year!

As plans for the future commence, it seems that the student government is working hard to improve what they have begun. Fun and out-of-the-ordinary senior experiences are not only important for celebration and full-circle-moment purposes, but they also help bring the students out into the surrounding communities of Phoenixville, Trappe, and of course Collegeville. So to all the seniors out there, make sure to cherish each and every last moment you have here on campus, and then come out to the senior bars!